Ormoc City is a 1st class city in the province of Leyte, Philippines. The city’s name is derived from ogmok, an old Visayan term for lowland or depressed plain. It is the first non-provincial city of the Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 177,524 people. Ormoc is the economic, cultural, commercial and transportation hub of western Leyte.
Ormoc City is an independent component city, not subject to regulation from the Provincial Government of Leyte. However, the city is part of the congressional district IV of Leyte together with Albuera, Kananga, Merida, and Isabel towns.
In November 1991, the Ormoc region was inundated by Tropical Storm Thelma (local name: Uring). Flash floods and landslides killed more than 6,000 people, mostly in Ormoc itself.
Ormoc City is a port city and is the largest city by land area in Leyte and second largest in Eastern Visayas after Calbayog City in Samar. Fronting Ormoc Bay, the city’s terrain is mostly of gently rolling plains. It is bounded on the northwest by the towns of Matag-ob and Merida, in the north by Kananga, in the northeast by the towns of Jaro, Pastrana and Dagami, and in the south by the town of Albuera. High mountain ranges separate Ormoc from the eastern portion of Leyte. Numerous rivers and streams traverse Ormoc. Among them are the Bao River in the north, Pagsangahan River in the west, the Bagong-bong River in the south, the Panilahan River also in the south and the Anilao and Malbasag Rivers which border the eastern and western flanks of Ormoc City Proper.
The people of Ormoc are called Ormocanons. Ormocanons are predominantly Cebuano-speaking (or Kana, as Cebuano-speakers in Leyte and Southern Leyte are often called) together with the whole western part of Leyte island. The people relate more to neighboring towns and Cebu than to eastern Leyte itself.
Like most Filipinos, Ormocanons, being predominantly Roman Catholic, celebrate the annual city fiesta for the patron saints Peter and Paul on June 28 and 29. Catholic religious festivals are observed throughout the year.
Ormoc City’s economic base is a good mix of agriculture, aquaculture, industry, tourism, and commercial services. Sugar cane, rice and pineapple are the bulk produce of the agricultural sector. The city enjoys economic growth because it supplies the whole country of its power needs due to the abundant geothermal power resources in Tongonan and neighbouring Kananga town. Ormoc is also the gateway to the Leyte Industrial Development Estate in the nearby town of Isabel, home of the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Plant, the largest fertilizer factory in Asia, and the Philippine Associated Smelter and Refining Company, the country’s biggest copper processing plant, among other industries.
The commercial service sector in the city is on the upswing. Banks, restaurants, cafes, night spots, and sports centers dot the city. There are sizable shopping centers in Ormoc City, among them Gaisano Riverside Mall, Gaisano Capital, BOSS (Brodeth One-Stop Shop), Yuvallos Hypermart, Ormoc Centrum, The Point Mall, and A-Mall. There are also many giftshops, videoshops, cellshops, pawnshops, bookstores, and whole-sale stores around the city.
Land and sea transport are available year-round. Ormoc Airport has direct flights to Manila. TV and radio networks broadcasting from Cebu reach the city. Internet connection is available through local and national ISPs like Globe broadband and Smart Bro. The city is served by telecommunication companies such as Ormoc Telephone Company (OrTelCo), PLDT, BayanTel, Globelines, Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular.
Take a pleasurable weekend, explore Ormoc! Fun begins with 45 minutes drive from the city proper to the 2,193 hectare (5,417 acres) Lake Danao Natural Park. Nestled at 640 meters (2,100 feet) above sea level is the violin-shaped Lake Danao that spans an area of 148 hectares (365.5 acres) and believed to be the home of giant eel. The lake’s placid water is ideal for boating and kayaking, while its surrounding flora and fauna is perfect for trekking and camping. At the city proper, one can visit landmarks/sites that tell the story of Ormoc’s history. Among them are the Fuente de la Reina (Bridge of the Queen) – the oldest bridge in the city considered as the last existing structure that symbolizes Spanish Colonization of the city; the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church, the Ruins of Dominador Tan residence, Ormoc Bay Shipwrecks and the Philippine – Japan Peace Memorial. Take a leisurely stroll on the verdant lawn of Veteran’s and Centennial Park in downtown Ormoc. Park goers are caressed by refreshing sea breeze and treated to calming views of the sunset. And dont forget to try Ormoc’s famous chocken barbeque in food stalls near the bay and the delighfully sweet, home-grown Queen Pineapple. For those with a passion for golf, the par 72 Leyte Golf and Country Club will provide a challenge. It is a premier golfing resort covering more than 80 hectares (198 acres). The course overlooks Ormoc Bay and is surrounded by mountains and rolling hills.